Pianist Tom Vickery and saxophonist/flutist Mark Lewis fill the stage with energy and joy at Pat’s House of Jazz in Crofton’s Osborne Bay Pub on Sunday, June 2 at 2 p.m.
When they first played there in 2018, Vickery practically bounced off the piano bench, while Lewis, who is a master of the alto sax and flute (as well as the baritone sax and piano), danced around the stage in sheer exuberance as they tossed musical ideas back and forth.
They performed ballads and bebop, engaging original music and jazz standards. It was an exhilarating performance of the highest standard.
“Their musical explorations may well change your view of jazz,” says publicist Gloria Collins. “They are among the finest musicians we’ve had on our stage in the seven years we have been running the series.
“They are endlessly creative while at the same time drawing their audiences right into the heart of their performance. You almost feel as though you are on the stage with them.”
Lewis, a Seattle-area native, has been a part of music scenes from Seattle and San Francisco to Rotterdam and Paris as a player, composer, producer and educator. The well-travelled musician even did a stint in Victoria in the late ‘80s.
He has composed 1,700 pieces and has recorded more than 30 albums and won accolades for his recent album The New York Session which was recorded with veteran players George Cables on piano, Victor Lewis on drums and bassist Essiet Okon Essiet.
Over the years he has performed and recorded with pianists such as Willem Kuhne, Mark Levine and Ted Gioia; drummers including Candy Finch, who was one of his many mentors; bassists such as David Friesen; trumpeter Randy Brecker; and vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson among many others.
Lewis sees himself as part of a modern jazz continuum. He approaches each composition and each performance “with knowledge and technique from studying the masters who came before and also the innocence of a child.
“I hope it keeps the music authentic and genuine,” he says.
His partner for the June 2 performance, pianist Tom Vickery, a former director of the Royal Roads Military Band, has hosted a weekly jam session at Hermann’s jazz club in Victoria since the 1980s, the longest continuous jazz jam in Canada.
Sunday’s show, presented by the Chemainus Valley Cultural Arts Society as part of its weekly jazz series, begins at 2 p.m. in the all-ages Osborne Bay Pub, 1534 Joan Ave. in Crofton.
Admission is $15. For reservations, call 250-324-2245. Tables will be held until 1:30 p.m.